Democracy Now! July 26, 2002

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Democracy Now! July 26, 2002
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"Food Politics:" a look at how the food industry influences nutrition and health with head of the NYU heath and nutrition department Marion Nestle, and Michael Pollan, bestselling author of "The Botany of Desire" The House Of Representatives passes an unconstitutional so-called "partial birth abortion" ban And, nine non-unionized coal miners have been trapped for almost 36 hours 240 feet below the surface of a Pennsylvania mine. Rescuers race against time as the cramped, dark shaft fills up with millions of gallons of frigid water All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:15 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES UNCONSTITUTIONAL SO-CALLED "PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION" BAN Congressional negotiators announced Thursday they have reached agreement on a bill that will rewrite the bankruptcy laws, making it much harder for millions of Americans to obtain bankruptcy protection. It is a major victory for credit card companies. The agreement came as negotiators reached a compromise on an abortion rights provision which had threatened to scuttle the entire bill. The compromise will restrict the ability of anti-abortion protesters to use the bankruptcy laws to shield themselves from paying court fines resulting from protesting and harassing abortion clinics. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban a procedure that anti-abortionists call "partial-birth" abortion. The Supreme Court struck down a similar bill in Nebraska, partially because it banned the procedure even if the woman's health was in danger. Rather than add a health exception, the new House bill includes a Congressional "finding" that the procedure is never necessary to protect the woman's health. Guest: Janet Crepps, attorney with the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy IN STUDIO Contact: 9:15-9:25 NINE COAL MINERS ARE TRAPPED IN A SHAFT AFTER THEY RUPTURE A NEARBY ABANDONED MINE Nine coal miners have been trapped for almost 36 hours 240 feet below the surface of a Pennsylvania mine. Officials do not know how many men might still be alive. Encouraged by a tinny tapping sound coming from the depths, rescuers began drilling an escape hole in a race to save nine coal miners. But early Friday morning the attempt to rescue the miners came to a stop when the drill bit broke. It appears the miners were trapped after drilling into the wall of a flooded and abandoned mine next to them, releasing more than 50 million gallons of water into the shaft where they were working. Coal miners work under some of the harshest and most dangerous conditions. Since the year 2000, 80 people have died in the coal mines. Between 1990-1999, close to five hundred people died. In the first decade of the 20th century, over 21,000 people died. This according to the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration. These workers trapped now are not unionized. They work for Black Wolf Coal Company. Guest: Jim LaMont, state health and safety director for the United Mine Workers of America. He was an underground mine worker for 23 years. Contact: Guest: James Loewen, author of "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" as well as "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong" Contact: 9:25-9:26 One Minute Music Break 9:26-9:40THE POLITICS OF FOOD: THE FOOD INDUSTRY SPENDS $33 BILLION IN ADVERTISING THIS YEAR, WHILEOVER ONE QUARTER OF US ADULTS ARE OBESE It's a public health nightmare: The number of people in this country who are obese doubled from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Over one quarter of adults, and more than 12 percent of children in the US are obese. The food industry spends around $33 billion a year in advertising and promotion to persuade people to eat more food. A New York man is suing McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC, saying that their marketing tactics are responsible for his obesity and two heart attacks. Companies like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Slim-Fast sponsor university-based research and nutrition journals. American Dietetic Association fact sheets on food and nutrition are sponsored by Monsanto, NutraSweet and Campbell. At the World Food Summit in Rome last month, the US stood alone among 182 nations in opposing the right to food. The Bush administration pushed for a narrow world-hunger agenda, emphasizing a greater role for the private sector and biotechnology firms. The food industry spends millions lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies. It pays off. Last month President Bush signed a $190 billion farm bill. Under the 10 year program, taxpayers will pay farmers $4 billion a year to grow more corn. The people who benefit from the production of corn are not the farmers, but the processors, factory farms, snack and soft drink makers, who have switched from using sugar to corn sweeteners. Writer Michael Pollan points out in an op-ed piece in the New York Times that our diet has undergon a process of "cornification" in recent years, just as the epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes swept the country. We're joined right now by Michael Pollan, as well as Marion Nestle, author of "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health." After Nestle published her book, the Sugar Association threatened to sue her. She's been called "one of the top nags of the anti-consumer movement." Guest: Michael Pollan, bestselling author of "The Botany Of Desire." He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a former editor at Harper's Magazine. He wrote an op-ed in the NY Times last week called "When a Crop Becomes King." Guest: Marion Nestle, author of "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" and Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. She was managing editor of the l988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health. IN STUDIO Contact: 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 THE POLITICS OF FOOD 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 26, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
July 26, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 26, 2002
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